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Top MAC Football Players of 2014: No. 21 Kareem Hunt, Toledo Running Back

Kareem Hunt came into the season last year as a backup running back to David Fleullen. He ended the season with Toledo fans buzzing about the future.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Toledo Rockets put up video game like rushing yardage last season. Rushing for 240.6 yards a game (14th in the nation) and put up 33 points a game (40th in the nation). The two-headed monster of David Fluellen and Kareem Hunt last season was deadly for their opponents. With Fluellen now chasing his dreams in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, it's Hunt's job to carry the load of terrorizing opposing defense in 2014.

The Willoughby, Ohio native rushed  for 2,685 yards (all time county record in Lake County, Ohio) with 44 touchdowns and averaged 11 yards per carry as a senior in high school. Hunt was awarded First-Team All-State, All-District and All-Conference honors for his achievements. He was a finalist for "Mr. Football" for the state of Ohio, was a three-star recruit that also had scholarship offers to play at fellow MAC schools Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, and Ohio but picked Toledo because of "early playing time, and close to home," he said in an interview after commenting to Toledo.

Early playing time happened, but production didn't really happen until later in the season. With Fluellen battling injuries at the end of the season, Hunt took over.

In the double overtime winner against Navy, Hunt ran for 127 yards, and also punched in two touchdowns on only 15 carries.  Against rival Bowling Green, Hunt carried the ball 21 times, racking up 114 rushing yards and one touchdown. He got his first two starts against EMU and Buffalo and gave Rockets' fans a taste of how bright the future is. During that two-week stretch Hunt carried the ball 51 times, rushing for 354 yards with three touchdowns. In the last six weeks of the season Hunt didn't pass 100 yards one time and that was the lost against Northern Illinois, ended up with 91 yards. The last game of the season against Akron Hunt ran for 103 yards before leaving in the third quarter due to a foot injury.

Rushing behind the stacked offensive line and having a full offseason as the number one Running Back, Hunt is looking to have a great sophomore campaign. Finding himself back on this list next season would not be a surprise to anyone.